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Q&A on new strains
The following is a question-and-answer session with White Labs’ President Chris White about the company’s move to expand homebrew strains to 35. For more details on the change, click here.

Why expand now?

Homebrewers are very experimental, and we want to give them the ability to use some of these different strains. A lot of our customers have gone through all of the strains, including those of the Platinum Series, which has been extremely popular. So we knew there was a market out there for more diverse strains.

Will homebrew stores stock all 35 vials?

We think so. And there is a benefit for them – if they are not able to sell all of the vials before the expiration date, we will offer them an exchange policy on the unused vials, if they stock all 35. But we don’t think they will have to worry about sending the vials back. There is nothing esoteric here. We didn’t make strains that will sit on the shelves.

But some of the strains are intended for beers such as Belgians, which are more difficult to brew.

They can be, yes. But as a homebrewer, you want to be experimental, just like a professional brewer. These are the kinds of beers that are often unavailable (at least fresh ones) at the local liquor store.

Talk about some of these new strains.

Some are spicy, peppery strains that are going to be really good for Saison-style beers. One strain that is becoming really popular is the English cider yeast; we have heard lots of great comments on it.